Accessibility statement

1.  Self-Certification of Assessment

2.  Exceptional circumstances affecting assessment (ECA)

3.  Student Support Plans - requests for occasional essay extensions


1. Self-Certification of Assessment

In a limited number of circumstances students will be able to self-certify for an assessment to have one-off mitigation applied to an essay submission deadline or online exam.  The policy will allow students to request:

  • a maximum of 3 self-certifications in one academic year ie between September 2023 - September 2024;
  • The limit of 3 includes any self-certifications you may wish to use in the August 2024 reassessment period;
  • Once you have used your 3 self-certifications then students should follow the evidence-based Exceptional Circumstances policy;
  • You select which Philosophy assessment you wish to self-certify for using eVision;
  • You can withdraw your self-certification request on eVision at any point up until the start time of your exam or essay submission deadline.  Warning: you cannot withdraw your self-cert request once the deadline has passed on eVision - make sure you definitely want to use the self-cert opportunity.

What types of assessment you can self-certify for:

  • a short essay extension of 4 calendar days maximum for essay or coursework submissions, and this must be made in advance of the submission deadline. 
  • an exam deferral to sit the closed or online exam at the next re-assessment period in August. The deferral is automatic, so if you attend the exam on the original date, please be aware that your paper will not be marked under any circumstances.  Exam deferral requests must be made prior to the start date and time of the exam. 

Reasons for self-certifying:

Self-certification for essays or exam assessments may only be made ONCE per assessment and cover ONLY the following circumstances:

  1. Exceptional Medical Circumstances (Physical Health)
  2. Exceptional Medical Circumstances (Mental Health)
  3. Exceptional Medical Circumstances (Physical and Mental Health)
  4. Exceptional Personal Circumstances
  5. Inadequate IT resources 

Students do not need to provide evidence to support a self-certified claim.  However, please note that fabrication of the above circumstances using self-certification will be treated as academic misconduct.

SSPs: Students who have assessment adjustments as detailed on their SSPs should use their SSP if they require mitigation for a disability-related reason (and not the Self-Cert process).  They may, of course, use the Self-Cert process if their circumstance is not related to their SSP.

An important note about exam deferral:

You must think very carefully before choosing self-certification for deferral of an exam.  Deferral of several exams may create significant overload of work for submission in August 2024.  Please be warned: you cannot use having exams or other assessment deadlines close together in August as a reason for further mitigation.  The August re-assessment period is the final opportunity for you to complete your assessments for the academic year, and failure to progress, or you require further mitigation for these assessments, it will mean having to take a leave of absence until the next reassessment opportunity in the following academic year.

If a student finds that the above self-certified mitigation is not sufficient for the assessment in question then they must consult the full Exceptional Circumstances affecting Assessment process (see below), and if they submit an ECA claim then students MUST provide documentary evidence to support their claim.

Important details about the Self-certification process: 

If you complete a Self-Certification of Assessment request, then the essay extension or exam deferral is AUTOMATICALLY approved.  You can withdraw a Self-Cert request at any time up until the start time of the exam, or essay submission deadline.  You must keep a record a which assessment and module you have self-certified for on eVision.  The system will keep track of how many Self-Certs you have made, and once you have reached your limit of 3, then you will not be able to select any further assessments on eVision. Once the Self-Cert deadline has passed then Philosophy will send you a confirmatory email for the exam deferral or essay extension that you have selected.

Where do I complete a Self-Cert request?

Students must complete and submit your request via their eVision Assessment and Progression pages.  All the information you need is on the University web pages under Self-Certification.


2.  Exceptional Circumstances affecting Assessment 

If circumstances in your life significantly affect your performance in assessed work (including examinations) or lead to you needing a deadline extension for such work, then you can submit an evidenced 'exceptional circumstances' claim.  Please speak to your supervisor if you experience this kind of difficulty.

The University defines an exceptional circumstance as a problem which goes beyond the normal difficulties experienced in life.  They are often one-off, life-affecting events, whereby the circumstances must be exceptional (i.e. serious and unusual) relative to the normal daily challenges that academic study presents, and unpredictable in that the student could not reasonably have been expected either to avoid them, or to allow for them in planning or preparing the assessment work during the assessment period for which you are claiming.

If your difficulties affect your studies beyond one assessment period, do please discuss with your supervisor the other options open to you.  

What are Exceptional Circumstances?

Evidence to Support an ECA application

ALL ECA applications must be supported with documentary evidence which must be contemporary, independent and objective.  You may submit your ECA application without evidence, but the evidence must then be provided to us as soon as possible after, and certainly before the published university deadline for resolving all ECA claims.  

What can I apply for?

  • prior to an essay* (*or equivalent) submission you may request an extension to a submission deadline.  For Philosophy modules, a typical essay extension will be for one or two weeks; or
  • 'bunched assessments': if you have one or more essay due on the same date, then you may apply for a 4-day maximum extension for your essays in order to help you manage your essay submissions.  Students cannot apply for a 4-day extension for any exam, and would alternatively have to request an exam deferral; or
  • if you believe the assessment (online or closed exam, or essay) has been affected/damaged by exceptional circumstances you may submit a claim to request the opportunity to sit the assessment again as-if-for-the-first-time (SAIFT) in the August reassessment period.

ECA application deadlines

  • The deadline to request a short essay* extension (*or equivalent assessment) is normally 2-working days before the submission deadline date, but in all cases must be submitted before the submission deadline.   Exension requests are not permitted for online or closed exams. ECA essay extension requests received after the submission deadline will not be considered by the Philosophy Department.  Note that we will publish the ECA application deadline date and time prior to each assessment submission to students via email;
  • The deadline to apply for a sit-as-if-for-first-time (SAIFT) due to a damaged essay* or exam is not later than 7 days after the last affected assessment.  Note that we will publish the ECA application deadline date and time prior to each assessment to students via email.

How do I apply?

  1. Go to the University's Exceptional Circumstances affecting Assessment web pages;
  2. On these pages complete and submit the on-line application and your supporting evidence via the Exceptional Circumstances application portal.

How will I hear about the decision of my claim?

Once a decision has been made by the ECA Committee about your ECA claim then we will write to you, via your UoY email, to notify you of the outcome.  You should read all the information carefully in this email.  

ECA queries and contact

If you are a Philosophy student and have questions about the ECA process which cannot be answered by these web pages then please do email Karen Norris (for Undergraduate students) or Carol Dixon (for MA and Graduate Diploma students) at


3.  Student Support Plans (SSPs)

Students who require teaching support and assessment adjustments for a disability or long-standing condition

Disability Services are available to advise any student with substantial and long-standing professionally diagnosed health difficulties - either physical or mental health - which have a negative impact on their ability to study.  They can arrange academic support and adjustments if you have disability or long-term health condition, and students should contact them in the first instance for advice.

The definition of Disability is that of the Equality Act - any long-term condition that has a significant impact on day-to-day life. 'Long-term' means has lasted or is likely to last 12 months or more, whilst 'day-to-day life' in this case means study related activities, and this includes mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety.  

All students with long-term conditions can be offered practical help with their studies, exams and written assessments, via a Student Support Plan.  Any support arrangements that you may have had at school or college are not carried over once you are at University, so if you are aware of having long-term issues as described above then we would urge you to get in touch with Disability Services as quickly as possible for advice and support.  The sooner you do this, the better, in terms of seeking the support and practical help you may need thoughout your degree course.  There are step-by-step instructions showing how to request support via the Disability Services web pages.

Your SSP

Once you have an SSP in place then this will provide you, your Department(s) and Disability Services with information as to what teaching support and assessment adjustments you have in place.  It is your plan, so you must be clear on what support is available and how you ask for certain adjustments.

If your SSP permits you to request occasional summative essay extensions, or an exam deferral, due to disability-related reasons then please follow the instructions below.  Please do not use the self-certification process for mitigation due to disability-related reasons: use the SSP process below. Please note that Extensions are not permitted for online or closed exams.   

  1. If your SSP permits occasional essay extensions or staggered deadlines you must submit a formal extension request in advance of the essay submission deadline;
  2. If your SSP permits a deferral for an exam, the formal deferral request must be submitted before the start time of the exam.  You cannot ask for an exam deferral after the exam has started.
  3. Complete the SSP application form via the University's web-based SSP application portal, stating the reason for your request;
  4. You do not need to submit additional medical evidence with your request;
  5. Your request will be considered by the relevant Department's Disability Officer/Chair of Exams, and you will be informed of the outcome by email by the Department;
  6. All requests are considered on a case-by-case basis and do not guarantee the successful outcome of a claim, nor do they permit automatic extensions for all essays.  Essay extensions should be requested occasionally, and should we become concerned about the use or frequency of these requests you will be asked to review your SSP adjustments with Disability Services and the Department.